New Law Keeps Guns Away from Those Deemed ‘Dangerous’

Illinois police will be able to temporarily confiscate guns from individuals found by a court to present a danger to themselves or others, under a law signed Monday by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

“I am a, uh, advocate for the Second Amendment, I am a gun owner and I believe this bill protects constitutional rights while increasing public safety,” Rauner said at a bill signing ceremony in Chicago.

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The so-called red flag law (House Bill 2354) allows relatives to petition a court to grant a form of restraining order should evidence prove a gun-owning family member is a danger to himself or others.

Police can also petition a judge to grant a lethal order of protection.

If granted, the gunowners’ fireowner’s identification card, or FOID, would be suspended and his firearms removed for between 14 days and a maximum of six months.

“Too often we hear after a shooting that there were red flags, that there were warning signs that a family member saw. And they felt powerless to do anything. This now gives them that power. It gives them the power to be proactive so that we can stop tragedies,” Rep. Kathleen Willis, D-Addison said.

Gun rights advocates, however, worry that the plan does not provide enough due process protections.

Rauner also signed a law requiring a 72-hour waiting period (Senate Bill 3256) between the sale and delivery of all guns purchased in Illinois.

But he says he will veto a third proposal heralded by gun control advocates as a means of cracking down on straw gun purchases, calling the plan to require Illinois gun stores to use video surveillance and train employees as part of a mandatory state certification (Senate Bill 337) too burdensome for small businesses.

Gun issues are one of several thorny issues Rauner must navigate as he seeks a second term—he must appeal both to downstate conservative voters who by and large oppose firearms restrictions, as well as a base of suburban moderates who tend to favor gun control.

“We need a gun dealer licensing bill in the state of Illinois. The governor has clearly stood with the NRA (National Rifle Association) every step of the way, this is just one more example” J.B. Pritzker, Democrats’ nominee for governor, said on Monday.

Rauner likewise signaled that he will veto legislation (Senate Bill 2273) that would end Illinois’ participation in the multistate Crosscheck voter registration database, which is meant to prevent voter fraud but which critics, including the American Civil Liberties Union, say is ineffective, a position likewise opposed by Pritzker.

It comes as the Illinois State Board of Elections spokesman Matt Dietrich says the agency is very likely the entity identified in Friday’s indictment of a dozen Russian hackers, who are believed to have breached Illinois’ electronic voter database in 2016.

Follow Amanda Vinicky on Twitter: @AmandaVinicky

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